A long-term plan to reduce flood risk in the most flood exposed region in New South Wales, the Hawkesbury-Nepean Valley.
The Hawkesbury-Nepean Valley covers 425 square kilometres of floodplain, and is prone to rapid and deep flooding. The area also has a constrained evacuation road network and low levels of community awareness of flood risk. The Insurance Council of Australia considers that the valley has the highest single flood exposure in NSW, if not Australia.
The NSW Government is currently delivering Resilient Valley, Resilient Communities – Hawkesbury-Nepean Valley Flood Risk Management Strategy (the Flood Strategy).
The Flood Strategy is a long-term plan for the NSW Government, local councils, businesses and the community working together to manage the risk posed by regional floods in the Hawkesbury-Nepean Valley. It aims to reduce risks to life, property and impacts on the community from floods now and into the future.
The Flood Strategy is an integrated mix of infrastructure and non-infrastructure actions that are being implemented in two phases.
In June 2016, the NSW Government committed around $58 million to implement phase one of the Flood Strategy. This phase focuses on planning for the proposal to raise Warragamba Dam for flood mitigation, as well as activities to reduce flood risk in the short term, where possible.
Over $30 million is allocated to detailed planning, environmental assessments and community consultation for raising Warragamba Dam wall by around 14 metres. This will provide flood mitigation through the temporary storage and controlled release of floodwaters. At the end of phase one, a business case for this proposal will be provided to the NSW Government for consideration.
The following activities are also being delivered in phase one to reduce flood risk in the short term:
The Hawkesbury-Nepean Valley Flood Risk Management Directorate in Infrastructure NSW is overseeing this phase of work.
Following phase one, and subject to environmental and planning approvals, the NSW Government will consider the final business case for raising Warragamba Dam to provide flood mitigation. The estimated preliminary cost of raising Warragamba Dam is about $690 million (2015 dollars). Construction is expected to take approximately four years to complete.
At the end this phase, the Government will also consider the ongoing implementation, monitoring and improvement of the Flood Strategy.
If you have any questions about the Flood Strategy, feel free to contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org
It is important to note that nothing can stop flooding completely in the Hawkesbury-Nepean Valley. People will always need to evacuate when directed to protect lives in a flood emergency. If you live or work in the valley, know your flood risk and be prepared.
Find out more about how to prepare for a flood on the NSW State Emergency Service website.
For emergency help in floods and storms, call 132 500.
In life-threatening emergencies, call 000 (triple zero).
1961 flood at Windsor looking towards the Blue Mountains
Source: Vic Gillespie Collection
A rescue scene during the 1867 Hawkesbury-Nepean flood
Source: Illustrated Sydney News, 16 Jul 1867 p.1; State Library of NSW
View of Windsor from George Street during the 1867 Hawkesbury-Nepean flood
Authors: W.H. Harrison, engraver, and O.R. Campbell, artist
Source: Illustrated Australian News, 27 Jul 1867 p.8; State Library of Victoria
From 23 to 25 June 2017, Infrastructure NSW and NSW State Emergency Service took part in an anniversary program hosted by Hawkesbury City Council to mark 150 years since the historic Hawkesbury-Nepean flood – our worst since European settlement.READ MORE
NSW Treasurer and Member for Hawkesbury Dominic Perrottet and Minister for Western Sydney Stuart Ayres today released the long-term plan to mitigate flood risk for the Hawkesbury-Nepean Valley.READ MORE
The NSW Government has announced the Hawkesbury-Nepean Flood Risk Management Strategy to reduce the potential flood risk to life, the economy and social amenity in the Hawkesbury-Nepean Valley.READ MORE